The following is a summary submitted with the application. It will be updated when the student’s abstract/thesis is received.
The proposed project is a randomised control trial comparing foot bathing, bivalent vaccination and multivalent vaccination in terms of the therapeutic effect and antibody response that each method provides against virulent footrot.
The project will be conducted on two flocks of Merino sheep in Tasmania. Each flock will be split into three treatment groups of equal size. The first (control) group will be foot-bathed only. The second group will receive a bi-valent vaccine targeting the two most virulent serogroups identified in the flock. The third group will receive a multivalent vaccine targeting serogroups A-I.
The therapeutic effect of the treatments will be measured by inspecting each foot of each sheep and scoring the footrot lesions based on the system used by Egerton and Roberts. In addition, prior to vaccination and at monthly intervals following vaccination, blood samples will be collected to measure the magnitude and duration of the antibody response using a microtitre agglutination test.
The expected outcome of the research project is to determine whether bivalent and multivalent vaccination provides a greater therapeutic response as measured by foot scores and antibody titres than current conventional foot bathing treatments.